Last week, USA Today shared an article reporting that President-elect Donald Trump has invited top technology leaders to a summit in Manhattan at Trump Tower on December 14. The invitations were reportedly sent by his campaign manager, Reince Priebus, son-in-law Jared Kushner, and transition advisor, Peter Thiel.
At the time, the only individuals USA Today shared as attending were Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins and Oracle Co-CEO Safra Catz . However, an article published yesterday by Recode shared that Apple’s Tim Cook, Alphabet’s Larry Page, and Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg will be present (Update: Solar City/SpaceX/Tesla’s Elon Musk too). Although it will be a relatively small summit, here are a few more leaders reportedly attending:
Those who will be attending (although most of the companies declined to comment to Recode) along with Page, Cook and Sandberg, include: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella; Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins; IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; and Oracle CEO Safra Catz.
As more invitations were reported to be sent out late last week, it is hard to know who else may be in attendance. Recode discusses that even as leaders have agreed to attend the summit, many of these companies stand in opposition to Trump’s positions:
Tech companies also stand on the other side of a myriad of key issues from Trump, including immigration reform, encryption and a range of social concerns. But those involved said that tech leaders had little choice in accepting the invitation, even if they wanted to decline, opting to engage now even if they later oppose Trump.
Many people will remember that Trump has said he will bring Apple’s manufacturing to the U.S. and has also called for an Apple boycott earlier this year. He also happened to be using an iPhone when he tweeted. At the time, Apple responded with the following:
Trump’s call for Apple boycott puts the company in standing with other good people he has criticized.
It is possible that Cook and others’ attendance could be a sign of all parties’ interest in finding common ground. A quote from Oracle’s Safra Catz communicated a message of positive collaboration:
I plan to tell the President-elect that we are with him and will help in any way we can,” said Catz in a statement. “If he can reform the tax code, reduce regulation and negotiate better trade deals, the U.S. technology industry will be stronger and more competitive than ever.
Tax reform has been a trending topic throughout the election season and will likely continue to be a focus as Trump begins his presidency. As we reported earlier, analysts at Moody’s suggest that comprehensive tax reform is needed to help create long-term economic growth. We’ll find out more next week what will come from this Trump tech gathering.